Learn about the five key pillars of local marketing in 2019 and how to drive meaningful interactions and customer loyalty that will help you crush your local marketing goals this year
Marketers tasked with supporting a national or regional brand at the local level have a unique set of challenges: your marketing has to be on-brand at the highest level and on point at the local level; you have to budget and set goals for each individual location and track and hit your numbers, and you have to coordinate with multiple stakeholders across each location.
On top of that, marketing is infinitely more technology and data-driven nowadays, but the tools to manage that aren’t always tailored to fit the needs of local marketing.
To help you focus on what’s going to be most impactful for local marketing in 2019, we’ve distilled our best advice down to these five key pillars:
Creating meaningful, personalized customer interactions is no longer about inserting the person’s name into your content. Customers expect you to speak to them like customers. Prospects expect you to speak to them like prospects. To do this, you’ll need to take your data usage to the next level to help you better identify your audience and deepen your connections with them.
Sound easier said than done?
You can start simply with segmenting your database for each location by the type of action your customers have taken. Say you’re a car dealership with a list of prospects who have come in for a test drive but have not purchased a car from you. You can send out customized text messages alerting these prospects to special deals and limited-time promotions on their model of interest. Or perhaps you’re tasked with marketing 10 locations of a regional ice cream shop that regularly rotates its flavors and you’ve amassed a database by location of customers and their favorite flavors. You could send an email or text alert to customers when their flavor is again available at their local shop.
One of the ten most important PPC trends in 2019 will be the addition of new ad types, extensions, and features. While we don’t yet know exactly what form these new offerings will take, one thing is clear: you need to stay on top of these releases and constantly test and refine to see what works best for your audience.
Now is not the time to take a “set it and forget it” approach to your creative. If you’re using the same ad formats you were a year ago, you’re likely missing out on opportunities to increase engagement and conversions by trying new ones. For example, if you’ve taken a fairly straightforward approach with a static shot and some text, you need to test that against a carousel format, which allows you to show multiple images.
Google and Facebook now have multiple ad formats you can leverage. But the best way to figure out what really works is through testing and refinement so you can get to a point of efficiency and scale for your audience.
Video has also been a hot format over the last couple of years, and local marketers are utilizing it as well in 2019. Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to produce high-quality video ads for social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t expect that just because you’ve been the long-standing go-to option in your area that your customers aren’t comparison shopping.
Loyalty is not what it used to be. It’s easier than ever for consumers to use local search or review sites to find other local businesses that provide the same products or services you do.
Be sure you’ve claimed your business on Google and other sites like Yelp, and use your placements to offer special promotions or discounts to first-time customers. People expect and look for deals, even at the local level, and they can easily find them.
It’s not just the shop around the corner that your customers are scoping when comparison shopping.
If you sell physical products (versus a service) your competition could theoretically be anywhere in the country—or around the world. National brands are now advertising locally and driving consumers to the local shops that carry their products, as well as their own websites or online stores.
In addition, massive marketplaces like Amazon, or vertical-specific sites that help consumers find the best deals are also part of the competitive landscape.
Appearing in consumers’ mobile search results is a big win for local marketers. Consumers using local search on their mobile device are on the go and typically immediately in-market, so a strong mobile-optimized site is a must.
Mobile users need to be able to scroll quickly through a site and get a customized experience optimized for their portable screens.
Special offers can help you seal the deal if you know a customer is in range of your location and can be targeted to appear to mobile searchers within a certain radius of your business. According to a BIA/Kelsey and MediaMax report “Marketers will increase their spending in digital by $32 billion in geo-targeted mobile advertising, reaching a total of 45 percent of total mobile advertising dollars by 2021.”
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